No increased defect risk after cancer treatment
New research led by Lisa Signorello, from the International Epidemiology Institute in Rockville, Maryland and published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has found that children who have chemotherapy or radiation treatment are at no increased risk of their own children having birth defects later on in life.
by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 13th December 2011
The researchers outlined the purpose of the research:
‘Children with cancer receive mutagenic treatments, which raises concern about the potential transmissibility of germline damage to their offspring. This question has been inadequately studied to date because of a lack of detailed individual treatment exposure assessment such as gonadal radiation doses’.
Methods and research
Within the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, 4,699 children of 1,128 male and 1,627 female childhood cancer survivors were examined. Among babies of women who’d survived childhood cancer, the rates of birth defects were 3 percent after chemotherapy and radiation compared to 3.5 percent when mothers hadn’t had those treatments.
The study concluded that:
“Our findings offer strong evidence that the children of cancer survivors are not at significantly increased risk for congenital anomalies stemming from their parent’s exposure to mutagenic cancer treatments. This information is important for counseling cancer survivors planning to have children”.
The Journal of Clinical Oncology, Congenital Anomalies in the Children of Cancer Survivors: A Report From the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, 12 December 2011
Photography: Erik Huiberts @Flickr